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Derleth
04-18-2004, 11:47 PM
Is there a way to simply not accept certified mail?

hazel-rah
04-19-2004, 12:00 AM
Yes. I sent something via certified mail to my former landlord and it was returned to me, delivery refused.

Kegg
04-19-2004, 02:38 AM
However, you must be carfull. I lived in an apartment house that was going to be torn down, and the owner notified the tennents by registered letter, as is the law. Some of the tennents refused dilevery because they thought that it would be
they werent notivied. They received a regular letter which said the the law only said that they had to SEND the registered letter, and even if the letter was regected, the law was satisfied
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Spelling and grammer subject to change without notice.

Mayfield St. Cloud
04-19-2004, 06:04 AM
You most certainly may refuse delivery of any class of mail. A Certified letter requires a signature to complete delivery. If you receive a notice in your mailbox, simply ignore it. You will recieve a second notice. Ignore that also. Eventually, after 15 days, the Post Office will return the letter to the sender endorsed "unclaimed". If you are home and answer the door when the letter carrier makes the first delivery attempt, simply tell the carrier that you refuse the item. It will be returned to the sender endorsed "refused".

Of course, as Kegg points out, this does not necessarily mean you are off the hook for whatever legal issues may have prompted the Certified letter in the first place.

Joey P
04-19-2004, 07:11 AM
To say pretty much the same thing as the other posters, declining or ignoring a certified letter really is the same as accepting it. The only difference is you don't know what it says. When someone bounces a check at the place where I work, we have to send a letter to them by certified mail. I actually like it when the decline it. When it's declined, as soon as I get the signature card back, I can proceed to the next step, taking it to the police. If it's signed I have to wait five days from the date it was signed. If it's ignored, it takes about a month to get back to me, but I can proceed as soon as I get it back.
Oh and one more reason it's a bad idea not to accept it is...If for some reason you were to end up court and it had something to do with the letter (ie it was a letter letting you know about a bounced check, or a change in rules from your landlord) and you claim that you were never notified, the plaintiff can hand the judge the UNOPENED letter that clearly states the you refused delivery or that you were notified but never picked it up. The judge then can open it and right there it proves that they attempted to notify you, but you refused it.

Derleth
04-20-2004, 02:07 AM
Hm. One of my scenarios bites the dust, and given how nasty the people in my scenarios act, I'm glad.

:D

t-keela
04-20-2004, 02:32 AM
How about just accepting it but sign the receipt with a bogus name?

Joey P
04-20-2004, 06:02 AM
How about just accepting it but sign the receipt with a bogus name?
(This may very from case to case, but when we send a letter to someone who bounced a check...) It doesn't matter WHO signs the receipt, as long as someone at the address does.

t-keela
04-20-2004, 02:00 PM
Don't get me wrong. I am not advising anyone to do this. I'm just wondering how it would/could play out.
A friend of mine had his failure to appear charges dropped because he was notified by registered mail during a separation from his now ex. While he was staying at my house, his ex's then boyfriend accepted a certified letter for him and then "forgot" to give it to him.
The judge was pretty cool about it and let him off on the extra bullshit caused by the a**hole boyfriend.

David Simmons
04-20-2004, 03:53 PM
How about just accepting it but sign the receipt with a bogus name?


Don't get me wrong. I am not advising anyone to do this. I'm just wondering how it would/could play out.
A friend of mine had his failure to appear charges dropped because he was notified by registered mail during a separation from his now ex. While he was staying at my house, his ex's then boyfriend accepted a certified letter for him and then "forgot" to give it to him.
The judge was pretty cool about it and let him off on the extra bullshit caused by the a**hole boyfriend.

I wouldn't guarantee this but the Post Office has been in business for a long time and I suspect they won't give you mail that has to be signed for without identification.

Your example is an entirely different set of circumstances.

Tigers2B1
04-20-2004, 04:19 PM
I suppose that if someone signs other than the person to which it was sent - all you have is proof that the letter was delivered to the address. If you want delivery "restricted" to a certain person at the address than you have to pay an additional fee and mark the Return Receipt "Restricted Delivery" at item 4 on the return receipt card. Delivery will then be restricted to the addresee.

Random
04-20-2004, 04:33 PM
I wouldn't guarantee this but the Post Office has been in business for a long time and I suspect they won't give you mail that has to be signed for without identification.



I wish the USPS were this diligent. I used to have to send out certified letters fairly regularly. There's a green card with the adressee's signature that should be returned to the sender. There's an option (at an extra charge) that the sender can check for addressee only delivery. I paid for this option.

At that time (and I doubt it's changed), about 25% came back with someone else's signature, 25% came back refused/failed to pick up/can't find, and 25% never came back at all. The remaining 25% came back with the required signature.

By my count, that's a USPS screw-up rate of better than 50%. (I'm confident that many of the 25% that came back undelivered were because the mail carrier couldn't be bothered to get a signature.)

I'm in Chicago, which has some notoriously bad post office branches. It's possible that I would have had a better success rate elsewhere.

Random
04-20-2004, 04:37 PM
Actually, I forgot another frequent result. I'd sometimes get the green card back (indicating delivery) with no signature at all on the card.

Tigers2B1
04-20-2004, 04:42 PM
...At that time (and I doubt it's changed), about 25% came back with someone else's signature, 25% came back refused/failed to pick up/can't find, and 25% never came back at all. The remaining 25% came back with the required signature.

By my count, that's a USPS screw-up rate of better than 50%....

So what do you suggest, that the government start firing employees for poor performance? LOL!!

Snooooopy
04-20-2004, 04:59 PM
When I reject certified mail, I like to tell it that even though it's very attractive and witty and charming, I'm just not feeling any romantic sparks.

Reader99
04-20-2004, 05:56 PM
here's the question: if someone is trying to send you a certified letter, why wouldn't you want to know what it says? if someone is trying to sue you/arrest you/attach your property etc., rejecting their letter won't stop them and will probably make them and the authorities mad. as noted above, in many circumstances they can proceed whether you sign or not. in some circumstances the next step would be to hire a process server to track you down and throw papers at you at your job, your school or your house in front of your neighbors. a judge might be able to issue a bench warrant and send the sheriffs out to pick you up wherever they find you. (some judges have ordered the arrest of citizens who simply ignored a jury summons.) how are you worse off for reading the letter?

lektrikpuke
04-20-2004, 06:57 PM
When I reject certified mail, I like to tell it that even though it's very attractive and witty and charming, I'm just not feeling any romantic sparks.

Would Viagra help? =)

Tigers2B1
04-20-2004, 07:24 PM
Would Viagra help? =)

Certified males wouldn't think of it -

t-keela
04-23-2004, 08:47 AM
I wouldn't guarantee this but the Post Office has been in business for a long time and I suspect they won't give you mail that has to be signed for without identification.

Your example is an entirely different set of circumstances.

I signed for a letter for my wife last week. I've also signed for my neighbors on several occasions. Then again, I live on a rural route and we all know each other and the mail lady as well.
Reminds me of that cheers episode where Cliff is in a video shown delivering mail and the tenants come out and swap the letters because "genius" is always wrong. That's how it was when our new post-person? started a few years ago. She'd drop off the mail and when we'd all get home in the evening we'd start walking the road bringing each other our correct mail.

But what do ya want for a couple of quarters? ;) Actually, I rarely mail anything these days. I get a lot of mail but most of that's either bills or junk.

Markxxx
04-24-2004, 05:46 AM
declining or ignoring a certified letter really is the same as accepting it. The only difference is you don't know what it one more reason it's a bad idea not to accept it is...If for some reason you were to end up court and it had something to do with the letter (ie it was a letter letting you know about a bounced check, or a change in rules from your landlord) and you claim that you were never notified, the plaintiff can hand the judge the UNOPENED letter that clearly states the you refused delivery or that you were notified but never picked it up. The judge then can open it and right there it proves that they attempted to notify you, but you refused it.

How would anyone know they delivered it? In the past six months I've gotten three items not delivered. The post office left me a note. I went to pick it up. They never found the item. Another time they delivered something and instead of leaving a note they threw it on the floor. I was lucky to get it there are 40 other apts in my building. Another time I ordered from eBay the person said it was returned to her. I NEVER got any notice. How is the post office going to prove the sent it?

THe other day I was in the bathroom, my buzzer rang. I didn't answer it. Someone must've buzzed him in. Cause shoved under the door was a FedEx. I looked up the tracking number. It says I signed for it at such and such time. I NEVER signed for it.

I live in Chicago. We have hundreds of cases of undelivered mail. In fact we recently got a letter from the post office saying if you were delieverd mail please come down to the office and return it. COME TO THE OFFICE???

I think you could make a good case if you ignored it by saying you never got a note. There is no proof they did what they claimed. Especially in apartments.

Kegg
04-24-2004, 06:11 AM
I'm sure glad I put the notice that spelling and grammer may change without notice. I think that was the worst typing I have ever botched!!!
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Spelling and grammer subject to change without notice.

ivylass
04-24-2004, 07:07 AM
We got a certified letter recently. I always get nervous about those things.

I signed for it, opened it, and it was a piece of junk mail offering to refinance our house!!


WTF???

robby
04-25-2004, 06:04 PM
Just to add on to what others have stated:

In my business (environmental engineering), we are required by law to inform property owners of certain scheduled governmental hearings. We send the letters by certified mail with signature cards. We get about 80-90% of the signature cards back, and about 10-20% of the letters are returned unopened. It makes no difference to us; the law only requires us to attempt to send the notices by certified mail. The postmarked, unopened, returned letters are filed away along with the signature cards as proof of meeting the requirements of the law.

iamme99
04-26-2004, 02:06 AM
I wish the USPS were this diligent. I used to have to send out certified letters fairly regularly. There's a green card with the adressee's signature that should be returned to the sender. There's an option (at an extra charge) that the sender can check for addressee only delivery. I paid for this option.

At that time (and I doubt it's changed), about 25% came back with someone else's signature, 25% came back refused/failed to pick up/can't find, and 25% never came back at all. The remaining 25% came back with the required signature.

By my count, that's a USPS screw-up rate of better than 50%. (I'm confident that many of the 25% that came back undelivered were because the mail carrier couldn't be bothered to get a signature.)

I'm in Chicago, which has some notoriously bad post office branches. It's possible that I would have had a better success rate elsewhere.

Ha! I had a run-in with the PO a few months back on this issue. I was notified that I was part of some class action suit against the big bad telephone company. I had to fill out a form stating that I had experienced one of the problems mentioned in the suit and would get $50 for this. I filled the form out and returned it certified with the green card for a signature on delivery. 4 weeks later, I hadn't yet received the card back, so I filled out a PO form to trace the letter. 5 weeks later, they still were unable to produce either the letter or a trace locator. I had a number of conversations with the local asst. postmaster. She tells me that when they deliver certified mail to large companies, that their contract states that they leave the certified mail for the company to sign and return to the PO delivery person at their convenience. Huh?

I pointed out that this procedure violated all known rules of maintaining control over the mail for which someone had paid a fee for special handling. I said, once you let the letter out of your control, you have lost all control.

She basically shrugged and said that's the way it was done. I demanded my money back, stating that they had violated the implied contract to maintain control of the mail and get a signature from someone before leaving it. I asked her to tell me what it was that I was paying for? She tried to dance around the issue and refused to give me a refund. She tried to maintain that since they hadn't been able to get a trace, then it was still possible that the mail was waiting to be signed somewhere in one of those big gray trays they stack the mail in (sort of like GWB's logic that although WMD's hadn't been discovered in Iraq by anyone yet, doesn't mean that they aren't there. :D). I told her she was crazy, that even if she was correct, it wasn't my problem and again demanded she refund my money.

I asked to speak with the postmaster. She said he would call me. I waited a couple more weeks, but no call. I went back, spoke to her again, said I was very pissed off and threatened to take this all the way to Washington, D.C. I said I would also file a small claims suit not only for the total cost of the mail delivery and certified fee, since it was clearly lost because of their negligence, and would also sue for all the hours I had wasted to-date fighting with them (something like 12 hours including writing up documentation ;) ). She was adamant that the PO does not refund money, ever.

I demanded to speak to the postmaster. She says he is not in but she will discuss the matter with him. I tell her I will be back in next week. I go in next week and she was not there but the postmaster was! I speak directly with him about the issue (meanwhile I have a long page of notes, documenting the times and dates and content of the conversations I have had over the last few months on this issue). He asks to make a copy of my notes. OK. I remind him of what I plan to do if he doesn't refund my money. He says will get back to me next week on this. Next week comes and goes and I don't hear from him, so I call him up directly. He says that he has gotten approval to refund my money (all $4.83 of it :D ). Damm. I was really hoping to take this to court. This was all about principle. Whatever, I fought the PO and I won!

Two morals: One, don't let them stick it to you. Two, certified mail (at least to big companies) is a rip-off. What are you paying for if the PO let's the mail out of their control before they have a signature?

duffer
04-26-2004, 02:29 AM
To say pretty much the same thing as the other posters, declining or ignoring a certified letter really is the same as accepting it.

This only counts if the addressee refuses. For example, last month my wife and I went to Vegas for 2 weeks. We had her mother stay at the house to watch the dogs. Should a letter have come in my name, and she refused it, would that count as me accepting it?

To the OP, if you refuse a letter from the USPS, it's the same as refusing a process server. Don't get your fingerprints on it, and you legally never accepted it.

Though the USPS ususally isn't such hardasses, as long as the postage is already paid.

Random
04-26-2004, 07:37 AM
To the OP, if you refuse a letter from the USPS, it's the same as refusing a process server. Don't get your fingerprints on it, and you legally never accepted it.



Wrong and wrong. One cannot "refuse" a process server by not touching the summons and complaint. If he holds out the summons and complaint and announces that you are served, you are served, even if you refuse to take the papers, or run away, or claim to be someone else.

Also, as others have said, in most legal situations, the law requires that the notice be sent by certified mail. If it comes back refused, you are considered notified, and the bad check prosecution, zoning change hearing, or whatever can proceed.

Please don't try to answer legal questions if you have no idea what you are talking about.